House accepts stripped-down Senate school-funding bill with TRS-Care cost relief, then shuts down special session

The Texas House voted 94 to 46 this evening to accept a stripped-down Senate version of HB 21 on school funding. The Senate amendments to HB 21 eliminated $1.5 billion of the $1.8 billion in the House-passed version, completely eliminating the main sources of any new aid to cash-strapped urban districts–a proposed increase in the […]

Anti-teacher amendment rejected in Texas House; deal on school funding delayed in Texas Senate; TRS-Care cost relief for retirees coming to House floor Tuesday

An anti-teacher amendment was rejected decisively by a bipartisan majority in the Texas House late on Monday afternoon. Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington) tried to insert the anti-teacher amendment into SB 16, a bill creating a commission to study long-term fixes for school finance and recommend a comprehensive overhaul before the next regular legislative session in […]

No Senate Vote on 2018-2019 School Funding; House Vote Pending on Long-Term School-Finance Study; TRS-Care Issue Being Negotiated

The Texas Senate keeps delaying a vote on increased school funding for 2018-2019 and now has recessed until 4 p.m. Monday. It may be just as well that they are still working out their stance, because what’s on the table so far in the Senate is very little. The $311 million senators have included thus far […]

Fight goes on for school funding, TRS retirees’ health-care cost relief

With six days left in the current 30-day special session of the Texas Legislature, not a single bill has been passed and sent to Gov. Greg Abbott, despite Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s ardent efforts to push through many hot-button proposals, including private-school vouchers and transgender-discrimination mandates. Still alive in the special session are important school-funding […]

Get it done! TRS retirees need health-care cost relief NOW

The Texas House and Texas Senate both have passed competing bills providing $212 million to cut rising health-care costs they recently imposed on retired school employees. The House passed HB 20 and the Senate passed an equivalent provision as  part of SB 19 in direct response to grass-roots pressure from retired and active school employees. […]

Get it done! TRS retirees need health-care cost relief NOW

The Texas House and Texas Senate both have passed competing bills providing $212 million to cut rising health-care costs they recently imposed on retired school employees. These bills need to be reconciled quick for retirees to get relief. Please send your e-letter now to your state representative and state senator with a blunt message: Get it done!

House sends school-finance bills to senate with supermajority support; House Panel Talks Up Use of State Reserves for Necessities Like Education, TRS-Care

House Sends School-Finance Bills to Senate with Supermajority Support: The Texas House hardly could have made it clearer today—by overwhelming margins, House members sent the Senate a $1.9-billion school-funding bill (HB 21) by a vote of 130 to 13, and they passed a measure (HB 30) to pay for it from the state’s $10-billion-plus reserve […]

House committee hears testimony on vouchers, performance pay, classroom supply reimbursement; AND TRS benefit news

TRS Benefit Bills Get Final House Okay:  Wednesday morning the House gave final approval to two good bills on TRS benefits. The measures now face an uncertain fate in the Texas Senate, which has been less than welcoming of House initiatives for the benefit of school employees. HB 20 by Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin), passed […]

At special session’s halfway mark, TRS benefits and school funding get house priority

The Texas House gave initial approval to two notable bills relating to TRS retiree benefits today, as the 30-day special session passed its halfway point. HB 20 by Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin), passed 130 to 10, would provide immediate relief from sharply rising health-care expenses. HB 80 by Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), passed 139 […]

TRS-Care Relief for Retirees, Potential TRS Pension Cost-of-Living Increase on Tap

The Texas House on Tuesday will vote on two bills to give retired school employees a better deal. HB 20 by Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) would use $212 million from the Rainy Day Fund to reduce health-care cost increases facing retirees starting in January under the TRS-Care health plan. TRS-Care participants under age 65 would […]